WBEZ | Joe Ferguson http://www.wbez.org/tags/joe-ferguson Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Report on alleged misconduct rankles aldermen http://www.wbez.org/news/report-alleged-misconduct-rankles-aldermen-108148 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IG.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The office that investigates claims of misconduct by Chicago aldermen has released a new report, prompting a round of criticism from some members of City Council. The <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/olig/Documents/LIGrpt-Jul2013.pdf">18-page report</a> is the second released by Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan since the city council established that office by ordinance in 2010.</p><p>The report looks at 132 complaints filed between July 2012 and July 2013, of which 25 were investigated. The report elaborates on a handful of complaints in more detail, though no aldermen are named.</p><p>In one case, an alderman allegedly took more campaign donations from a contributor than permitted. Another investigation claims an alderman instructed a police officer to write two traffic summonses to a person who had gotten into a parking dispute with the alderman&rsquo;s sister-in-law.</p><p>Members of the City Council&rsquo;s Progressive Caucus demurred from commenting on specific examples cited in the study, saying they hadn&rsquo;t yet seen the report. Still, several accused Khan of releasing the study to the media before it was available to the public &ndash; a claim that Khan denies.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s got to be coming out of his office,&rdquo; said Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), &ldquo;he needs to be more tight-lipped on the approach that he&rsquo;s taking.&rdquo; Several aldermen said they believe Khan&rsquo;s office should be dissolved, and that aldermanic oversight could be given to City Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, who already has jurisdiction over city employees.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s interesting that they&rsquo;re focused more on the confidentiality and the city inspector general office rather than the substantive facts of these reports,&rdquo; Khan told WBEZ Monday.</p><p>Council members specifically declined to comment on one <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/22901456/ald-joe-moore-accused-of-ethics-violations-by-ig-inspector-general#ixzz2ZoIAqPln">alleged abuse of power</a> that <a href="http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2013/07/21/reform-ald-joe-moore-caught-ethics-probes">WTTW&rsquo;s &ldquo;Chicago Tonight&quot;</a> first reported on Sunday. In the story &lsquo;multiple sources&rsquo; named Joe Moore (49th) as the alderman who allegedly allowed campaign work to be done from his ward office, then paid off a former aide to stay silent about it.</p><p>First elected to the City Council in 1991, the reform-minded North Side alderman fired off a written statement on Monday denying any such misconduct. It said &ldquo;the issues involved were personnel matters--not political ones&rdquo; and came from a &ldquo;disgruntled former employee.&rdquo; Khan&rsquo;s office was &ldquo;run amok with a lack of professionalism...&rdquo; the statement continued, and according to Moore never interviewed him about the allegations.</p><p>Khan declined to confirm or deny the identity of any of the aldermen in the report.</p><p>The Office of the Legislative Inspector General has been criticized in the media for its expenditures, but in the newly-released report, Khan says his office has hired five part-time employees to help carry the workload. Their investigations now go to the city&rsquo;s Board of Ethics.</p><div><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="http://www.twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></div></p> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 17:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/report-alleged-misconduct-rankles-aldermen-108148 The First 100: Searching for transparency at City Hall http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/first-100-searching-transparency-city-hall-90112 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-August/2011-08-04/4048831734_80cd54cb27_b(2).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>"Chicago style" or the "Chicago way" of doings things can be a funny thing--cultural quirks--like the unwritten rule that hot dogs be dressed with celery salt, not ketchup. But the city also earned a reputation for shady politics and back-room deals. So when Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised a transparent, open city government - it was practically an affront to the very definition of "Chicago." Still, there was movement in that direction.</p><p>Earlier in the week, the mayor announced the release of a searchable online database of city contracts from 1993 onward. As part of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/first-100-rahm-emanuels-first-100-days-chicago-mayor" target="_blank"><em>The First 100</em></a> series, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> assessed the city’s progress and prospects under the Emanuel administration. For the latest installment,<a href="http://scottforchicago.com/" target="_blank"> Ald. Scott Waguespack</a> (32nd Ward) and <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/" target="_blank"><em>Chicago Reader</em></a> senior writer<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/ArticleArchives?author=868703" target="_blank"> Mick Dumke</a> joined<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss the level of transparency in Chicago city government.</p><p>On <strong>Wednesday, Aug. 24</strong>, local officials will join <em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Alison Cuddy for a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/event/2011-08-24/first-100-mayor-emanuel%E2%80%99s-early-impact-chicago" target="_blank">public forum</a> to culminate <em>The First 100</em> series.<br> Please <a href="http://www.wbez.org/first100question%20" target="_blank">submit questions</a> for the mayor and other local leaders for a dynamic and interactive discussion.</p><p><em>Music Button: Thievery Corporation, "Stargazer", from the CD Culture of Fear, (ESL)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 13:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-08-04/first-100-searching-transparency-city-hall-90112 Emanuel unsure whether he will fire firefighters accused of misusing taxpayer money http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-unsure-whether-he-will-fire-firefighters-accused-misusing-taxpayer-money-90083 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-03/firehouse.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that he hadn't decided yet whether to fire 54 firefighters accused in a published report of misusing taxpayer money.</p><p>The firefighters allegedly received reimbursements for miles they didn't drive in personal cars to inspections. The <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> reports that Inspector General Joe Ferguson is asking Emanuel to terminate the firefighters.</p><p>But the Mayor said the problem is too systematic to solve by laying off the workers.&nbsp;</p><p>"There's actually a grievance process in the contract, and if I fire all of them, it's all going to end up in a grievance process that drags on, and it may end up costing the taxpayers more than the $100,000 in violation," said Emanuel.</p><p>Stating that he had "zero tolerance...for any abuse of taxpayer money," Emanuel explained that he had directed Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Robert Hoff "to deal with it, roots and all."</p><p>Citing unnamed sources, the <em>Sun-Times</em> reported this morning that members of the Fire Prevention Board fraudulently spent over $100,000 of taxpayer money in just 2009.&nbsp;</p><p>The Fire Department is keeping quiet over the issue; it's conducting an investigation into the allegations but is refusing to release details at this time.</p></p> Wed, 03 Aug 2011 20:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-unsure-whether-he-will-fire-firefighters-accused-misusing-taxpayer-money-90083 Miscalculation means City of Chicago is going to have to find an extra $24 million http://www.wbez.org/story/cdata/miscalculation-means-city-chicago-going-have-find-extra-24-million <p><p>In 2009, the city imposed furlough days and unpaid holidays. Cutting 24 days from the schedule each year was estimated to save a hundred and $34 million but Chicago's Inspector General Joe Ferguson says that number is wrong. That's because when workers aren't working and being paid they're not contributing to their pensions. Their contributions drop but the pension obligations remain the same.<br /><br />The city will likely have to make up the difference.&nbsp; The Inspector General's office says the total shortfall will be $24.5 million but the report notes that the furlough days still saved the city a very substantial amount of money.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 23:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cdata/miscalculation-means-city-chicago-going-have-find-extra-24-million Inspector General Joe Ferguson tasked with stamping out Chicago corruption http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/inspector-general-joe-ferguson-tasked-stamping-out-chicago-corruption <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Picture 023.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In Illinois, tracking the trail of corruption through politics is practically a sport. At the city level alone, Chicagoans have seen numerous scandals, involving patronage hiring, fraud and bribery. On this <em>Mayor Monday</em>, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> aimed to learn more about corruption under Mayor Daley&rsquo;s tenure &ndash; and what the next mayor faces in managing the corruption capital of America.<br /><br /><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to a man with what sounds like a monumental job -- monitoring and hopefully ending corruption. <a href="http://www.chicagoinspectorgeneral.org/office-joseph-ferguson.html" target="_blank">Joe Ferguson</a> was named city Inspector General by Mayor Daley in 2009 which means he watches over the very man who appointed him to office. Inspector General Joe Ferguson joined host Alison Cuddy to explain how his office works to keep City Hall honest.</p><p><em>Music Button: Calexico, &quot;The Road Back&quot;, from the CD Toolbox, (Our Soil, Our Strength) </em></p></p> Mon, 31 Jan 2011 14:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/inspector-general-joe-ferguson-tasked-stamping-out-chicago-corruption